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Spooky Tooth


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4 stars Some years ago I suggested to add Spooky Tooth to the Prog Archives database. Now, finally it was added, and I think it was a good idea.

Maybe this is their most known and popular album. For years this album was their only available album with all their other albums being out of print in the U.S and U.K. in the LP and CD formats. And I think that it has some very progressive arrangements, and most of the lyrics are "dark" in meaning and difficult to understand. Most of the songs were composed by Gary Wright, which, apart from being a musician, he has a Psychology degree. So, maybe he wanted the lyrics to have some "intelectual meaning" which is not very apparent for some of the listeners.

"Waiting for the Wind" (composed by Luther Grosvenor, Mike Harrison and Gary Wright) starts with a drums rhythm, and maybe it is one of the more "conventional" rock songs in sound in this album (and also one of the best).

"Feelin´Bad" (by Mike Kellie and Gary Wright) is a "dark" song but good anyway.

"I've Got Enough Heartaches " (also by Kellie and Wright) has female backing vocals and also a piano part which Steve Winwood played, as he says in his official website. It is also a good song with some psychedelic influences.

"Evil Woman" (composed by someone called Weiss) is a heavy song with a very good lead guitar and some influences from Blues music. A very intense song.

The next songs were originally on the Side Two of the L.P. and all were composed by Wright alone:

"Lost in my Dream": wiith also some psychedelic influences and strange lyrics which seem to narrate a nightmare instead of a peaceful dream. It has very good drums and dramatic vocals, and also very good backing vocals. It is a dramatic song in content and in playing.

"That was Only Yesterday": maybe the best song in this album and maybe one of their more popular songs, it was recorded again by the band (without Wright) in 1999 for their album called "Cross Purposes" (an album which I have not listened yet). This original version has some harmonica playing.

"Better by You, Better Than Me " is another dramatic song, played with a lot of energy and also with very good drums by Kellie. This song was recorded years later by the band Judas Priest (but I have not listened to their version yet),

The album is finished with the song called "Hangman Hang my Shell on a Tree", which has strange lyrics but it is played with a lot of energy, and it also has some wind instruments played in the background.

Wright and Harrison were the lead singers in this band, but it is difficult to me to known which songs are sung by each of them. After this 1969 album was recorded Greg Ridley left the band to form Humble Pie with Steve Marriott, Jerry Shirley and Peter Frampton. He died some years ago.The most recent line-up of this band (in this century) has Harrison, Wright and Kellie plus some backing musicians.

I first listened to this album in the English L.P. version which had a gatefold cover, in 1973. In late 1980 I bought the U.S, version which didn´t have a gatefold cover. The original U.K. front cover was printed in at least six different colour tonalities, one of which is shown in this page.

To see scans of the original U.K. L.P. front cover printed in several colour tonalties, visit

I know that some of their albums have been re-issued some years ago in Europe in the CD format. This album was also re-issued there.

Report this review (#410609)
Posted Thursday, March 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars On Spooky Two, Spooky Tooth offer a gritty organ and guitar-driven sound which charts a course that meanders between the evocative prog-leaning proto-metal of Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster on the one hand and the brash, bluesy hard rock of the Faces on the other. Unlike the classics of those bands, however, it doesn't quite elevate itself beyond the aesthetic of its time and the album never quite catches fire; although all of the songs on here are good, if you've got an appreciable 1970s hard rock collection you've probably heard a lot of the tricks on here done better by other artists.

The absolute best and most original song on here is Better By You, Better Than Me, and to be honest the Judas Priest cover version of that number absolutely blows the original out of the water. Doubtless innovative on release, Spooky Two doesn't quite endure the test of time, though if you are feeling nostalgic and want to evoke the feel of the early 1970s it's an effective way to accomplish that.

Report this review (#984957)
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a blast from the past, better than I remember!

Spooky Tooth ? Spooky Two is a classic in sound and style. Its got that 60s communal, almost Joe Cocker sound at times, that hammond organ heavy rock sound, that good hard rock guitar sound, and even a great gospel sound on an occasion.

Spooky Tooth are almost a pre-supergroup in 1969 in this line up with Gary Wright on keyboards of future "Dream Weaver" fame leading the way, Luther Grosvenor (alias Ariel Bender of the later years of Mott the Hoople fame) on guitar, and Mike Kellie on drums from Three Man Army duty, as well as Mike Harrison who shares vocals and keyboards with Gary, and then Greg Ridley bringing up the bass.

Most of the sound is heavy in nature with the opening track "Waiting for the Wind" as my favorite. Almost all the songs are full of delightful hooks that are not cheesy or forced by no means, but just darn good.

Four to four and a half stars, will keep it at 4 in the proto-prog world. Younglings and geezers alike, take a little trip back in time with Spooky Tooth!

Report this review (#1394045)
Posted Saturday, April 4, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Spooky Tooth - Spooky Two (1969)

If you claim to have any love for sixties psych and prog its roots, you simply can't ignore this great second album Spooky Tooth. Psychedelic rock with soul and stunning performances by Mike Harrison, whoes voice is one of the better of the psychedelic movement. All songs on this album are great, but organ-driven opening track 'Waiting for the wind', the extended 'Evil Woman', the epic "Lost in a dream' and the cover 'Better by you, better then me' stand out. Furthermore, the album has a nice sixties sound with only minor flaws in the production (a few pitch anomalies). When people visit you when you play this record even the silliest among them will recognise this as being 'pure rock'. I can also warmly recommend the less adventerious but nice 'The Last Puff'. Four stars.

Report this review (#1405456)
Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars SPOOKY TOOTH were a five piece band out of London, England and this is album number two from 1969. I'm into consistent albums and this is surprisingly consistent given the year. Kind of a hard rocking, bluesy, psychedelic affair with some prog leanings. The vocalist Mike Harrison is fantastic! He can belt it out and sing in different ranges really well. Bassist Greg Ridley would play with HUMBLE PIE while Luther Grosvenor the guitarist played with STEALERS WHEEL and MOTT THE HOOPLE. But the big name here is Gary Wright playing organ. As a teenager I was mesmerized with "Dream Weaver" and "Love Is Alive". Here on the opener "Waitin' For The Wind" he comes in with this distorted, rolling organ that is nasty and this along with the vocals makes this my favourite track off the album. The nine minute "Evil Woman" is just a killer track. The vocals and lyrics especially. Then there's the catchy "Better By You, Better Than Me" which was covered by JUDAS PRIEST. There's some not so great numbers like the gospel sounding "I've Got Enough Heartaches" which is about the vocals or "That Was Only Yesterday" which starts out ballad-like but then kicks into gear but I'm just not into it. The rest though is great to varying degrees. A solid 4 stars.
Report this review (#2596872)
Posted Sunday, September 26, 2021 | Review Permalink

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